Is Derek Jeter now Underrated?

Play episode

Born and raised in Miami, Florida. I used to play baseball for a living; I walked a lot and didn't hit enough. Now I write words for a living and drop absolute bombs every Sunday for my men's league team.

The Sopranos is more groundbreaking than it is good.

It’s become stylish to say legendary Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is overrated. It’s actually one of the few surviving trends in baseball arguments, as it’s been going on for about a decade. Advanced metrics reveal he wasn’t a valuable fielder (in fact, some numbers say he’s arguably the worst defensive shortstop of all time). He was a compiler late in his career. Many of his most famous moments weren’t all that spectacular in a vacuum, i.e. the running catch into the stands. Jeter was never the best shortstop in the league. Yada yada yada.

As more and more people pile on the “Jeter is Overrated” Train though, it, ironically, makes him a bit underrated. As he enters the Hall of Fame (deservedly), allow me to make the case for Derek Sanderson Jeter being an underrated baseball player.

Peak Performance

Derek Jeter’s peak, or lack thereof for some people, is one of the points his detractors often bring up. He never won an MVP, finishing in the top-5 just three times across 20 seasons. However, I’d argue that, if not for steroid users and bad voting, Jeter would have taken home the award at least once.

We’re assuming Jeets was never on the juice, so stick with me. His seven-year peak was from ’97 to ’03, a span in which he received MVP votes in six different seasons. One of his best years was 1998, when he came in third after a 7.5-win season in which he hit .324/.384/.481. He was beaten out by Nomar Garciaparra, who put up 7.1 bWAR, and Juan Gonzalez, who was most likely a steroid-user and whose bWAR sat at…4.9.

What if this vote took place today, factoring in how much more we know about analyzing performance? It’s very likely Jeter is your 1998 AL MVP.

There are more examples of Jeter getting hosed by the voters. He finished second in MVP voting in 2006, narrowly losing to Justin Morneau. This was the closest he would get to winning the award. Jeter and Morneau’s respective bWAR that season? 5.6 to 4.3. Yet another example of today’s voters potentially deciding differently.

So, while Derek Jeter did not quite have the peak of some of his contemporaries, he missed out on at least one MVP trophy that would have been his in another era. What would the Jeter naysayers think of him if he had a couple MVPs on his mantle?

About his Defense…

Photo by Jonathan Daniel

Derek Jeter had the worst Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) and the lowest Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) of his generation. Granted, these metrics were introduced in 2003, when Jeter was already 29 years old and approaching the end of his physical prime. Still, he’s the worst in these categories by a landslide.

Derek Jeter simply did not have much range at shortstop.

He did however, make the routine plays very well. He’s in the top-50 all time in terms of fielding percentage for shortstops (.976). He was routinely in the top-5 for shortstops in this category year after year. If a ball was hit within Jeter’s reach, he was pretty automatic.

But unfortunately for the Captain, range is the most important factor when it comes to preventing runs.

Value and Ability

Still, there is a slight difference between being a bad fielder and being a low-value one. Value and ability usually go hand-in-hand, but not always. For example, if a catcher hits 25 HR across 500 ABs, and a 1B hits 30 HR across 500 ABs, who’s the better home run hitter? The 1B right? That’s true. However, those home runs might not be as valuable, since 1Bs typically hit lots of home runs, while catchers don’t. The catcher, although an inferior power hitter to the 1B, is a more valuable power hitter due to the scarcity of home runs among his peers, as opposed to the abundance of them among the 1B’s peers. Value and ability. Not always in sync.

How does this relate to Jeter? Jeter is a low-value defender because his peers, other shortstops, could get to balls he couldn’t. Put Jeter at 3B though, a position that requires far less range, and his value would spike. Why? Because Jeter, when not limited by his physical shortcomings, which were, in part, out of his control, was actually a good fielder. When it came to the fundamentals of fielding balls at shortstop, i.e. staying down, moving through the ball, reading hops, and making good, timely throws, Jeter was solid. The problem is shortstop is the premier defensive position on the field in terms of value, and Jeter didn’t have the lateral speed or quickness to make some plays. His flaws were extra pronounced.

Did he deserve any of his five Gold Gloves? Hell no. Was he a “bad” fielder? That’s not as cut and dry as it seems.

Playoff Performance

It’s really hard to hit in the playoffs. Less runs are scored in the playoffs for a reason. You’re only facing the best the opposition has to offer. Guys are throwing harder. At bats mean infinitely more. Ideally, you’d like a hitter to improve in October, but you’ll take it he just takes a minor step back.

Derek Jeter elevated his game in the playoffs.

The Captain played almost one full season in the playoffs, or 158 games. That full season amounted to .308/.374/.465, with 20 jacks. His .838 playoff OPS is 21 points higher than his regular season OPS of .817, mostly on the back of his power boost. His 162-game HR average in the regular season was 15, while he socked 20 in 158 postseason games. Jeter played in 33 playoff series and had an OPS over .800 in 20 of them; his résumé wasn’t boosted by one or two series in which he was scalding hot. Consistency was always Jeter’s strength and that continued in the playoffs, but on an elevated level.

That’s big time. That’s some Hall of Fame shit right there.

The Hate is Dumb

Derek Jeter is surely overrated by adoring Yankee fans who say he’s the best shortstop ever (honestly though, wouldn’t you? The guy was a god in New York for two decades). But to suggest, like some writers have, that he shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame is equally dumb. Probably dumber. And the worst part is that millions of people seem to be eating this narrative up, causing Jeets to, potentially, be underrated now.

Derek Jeter is closer to being the best SS of all time than he is to being an unworthy HOFer. So you’re the dumb ones, baseball writers.

Join the discussion

  • You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  • Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is just cool and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  • Another thing I’ve noticed is for many people, poor credit is the consequence of circumstances beyond their control. By way of example they may are already saddled by having an illness so they really have more bills going to collections. Maybe it’s due to a employment loss or inability to do the job. Sometimes separation and divorce can really send the money in the undesired direction. Many thanks for sharing your thinking on this web site.

  • I used to be more than happy to seek out this net-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this glorious learn!! I undoubtedly having fun with every little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

  • I have mastered some new items from your internet site about computers. Another thing I’ve always imagined is that computers have become a product that each household must have for some reasons. They provide convenient ways to organize the home, pay bills, go shopping, study, hear music and in many cases watch tv programs. An innovative strategy to complete these types of tasks has been a laptop computer. These pc’s are mobile ones, small, powerful and transportable.

  • I?ve read some good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to create such a magnificent informative web site.

  • Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you Nonetheless I’m experiencing problem with ur rss . Don?t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  • I’ve been surfing online more than three hours nowadays, but I never found any fascinating article like yours. It is pretty price enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you probably did, the web will be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  • Great blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • I feel that is among the so much significant information for me. And i’m satisfied studying your article. However want to remark on few basic things, The web site taste is great, the articles is actually great : D. Just right task, cheers

  • I have noticed that credit repair activity should be conducted with tactics. If not, it’s possible you’ll find yourself causing harm to your ranking. In order to reach your goals in fixing your credit rating you have to be careful that from this time you pay any monthly costs promptly prior to their timetabled date. It’s really significant for the reason that by not accomplishing so, all other actions that you will decide on to improve your credit position will not be successful. Thanks for discussing your suggestions.

  • Thanks for the tips on credit repair on this particular web-site. A few things i would tell people is usually to give up the particular mentality they will buy today and pay later. Like a society many of us tend to repeat this for many things. This includes trips, furniture, as well as items we would like. However, you’ll want to separate your current wants out of the needs. If you are working to boost your credit score make some sacrifices. For example you are able to shop online to save money or you can click on second hand stores instead of high-priced department stores regarding clothing.

  • I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it?s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

  • Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  • Love your blog! If you are ever in Nebraska, check out Omaha’s best chef-driven catering & party rooms in the metro area for over 25 years. Restaurants Inc. is known for its delicious American, Italian & Southwest Mexican dishes and as a locally and family-owned business, we understand the importance of having meticulous detail with whatever event you’re planning.

  • Good article. It’s very unfortunate that over the last 10 years, the travel industry has already been able to to fight terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, influenza, swine flu, as well as first ever entire global tough economy. Through it all the industry has proven to be sturdy, resilient plus dynamic, acquiring new ways to deal with trouble. There are often fresh difficulties and the possiblility to which the field must once again adapt and act in response.

  • Thanks for your beneficial post. In recent times, I have come to be able to understand that the particular symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are caused by the build up associated fluid involving the lining of your lung and the upper body cavity. The sickness may start inside chest spot and distribute to other body parts. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include weight reduction, severe breathing trouble, fever, difficulty ingesting, and irritation of the neck and face areas. It needs to be noted that some people living with the disease usually do not experience any kind of serious indications at all.

  • I am now not certain where you are getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or working out more. Thank you for excellent information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.

  • I have noticed that over the course of making a relationship with real estate owners, you’ll be able to get them to understand that, in every real estate contract, a payment is paid. All things considered, FSBO sellers tend not to “save” the payment. Rather, they try to earn the commission by simply doing an agent’s task. In doing this, they expend their money as well as time to conduct, as best they will, the tasks of an real estate agent. Those assignments include revealing the home by way of marketing, delivering the home to prospective buyers, constructing a sense of buyer emergency in order to prompt an offer, scheduling home inspections, managing qualification checks with the financial institution, supervising maintenance tasks, and aiding the closing.

  • What i don’t understood is in truth how you are no longer actually much more smartly-preferred than you might be right now. You’re so intelligent. You already know therefore significantly with regards to this topic, made me personally consider it from a lot of various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be involved unless it is one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. Always take care of it up!

  • you are really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you have done a great job on this topic!

  • I was just looking for this info for some time. After six hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this kind of informative sites in top of the list. Generally the top web sites are full of garbage.

  • you’re really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a excellent job on this topic!

  • Thanks for your ideas. One thing really noticed is always that banks plus financial institutions know the spending behavior of consumers and as well understand that many people max out there their own credit cards around the vacations. They wisely take advantage of this fact and begin flooding your own inbox and snail-mail box with hundreds of 0 APR credit card offers just after the holiday season concludes. Knowing that if you’re like 98 of all American community, you’ll get at the possible opportunity to consolidate financial debt and switch balances towards 0 rate credit cards.

  • Thanks for your submission. Another point is that being a photographer entails not only difficulty in catching award-winning photographs but additionally hardships in getting the best digital camera suited to your requirements and most especially issues in maintaining the standard of your camera. This is very genuine and obvious for those photography enthusiasts that are into capturing the particular nature’s interesting scenes : the mountains, the particular forests, the wild or even the seas. Going to these adventurous places certainly requires a photographic camera that can live up to the wild’s tough areas.

  • Great ? I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..

More from this show

Instagram feed @meksdemo

Instagram has returned empty data. Please authorize your Instagram account in the plugin settings .


Episode 22